Talented Mr. Ripley Takes on Mr. McCombs Pageant

Written by Forrest Ripley

As President of HBA, I am used to representing our organization at various meetings and events. However, last week required using a myriad of new skills to rep my favorite organization as I was elected to represent HBA in the annual Mr. Mccombs male pageant, a night of fun to raise money for a good cause. In this friendly competition I would vie for the Mr. McCombs crown along with 8 other gentlemen from other McCombs student organizations. After spending a month practicing my dancing, figuring out what my talents were, and attempting to get my body in swimsuit season shape, the big night finally arrived. My fellow pageant members and I began the evening with an elaborate group dance choreographed to Macklemore’s finest beats. It’s hard to describe the camaraderie I built with my fellow men after jointly spending two weeks learning how to best moonwalk, flex our guns, and shake our booties.

After the dance, each contestant made three return trips to the stage to model their outfit of choice, show off their swimsuit fashion, and display their finest talents. For my outfit of choice, I donned my full-body taco costume I conveniently already owned to epitomize my lifelong love of Austin’s most famous Tex-Mex cuisine. In the highly anticipated swimsuit round, I proudly showcased my winter tan lines by wearing retro pastel swimtrucks complete with an inflatable crocodile innertube. At last came the talent portion of the evening. Because of my indecisiveness in picking a talent, I decided to try out several skills in lieu of a single talent. To begin, I played Adele’s Someone Like You on my keyboard while singing the song an octave or two lower than the song’s author. For the second half of the song, I abandoned my keyboard and relied on the actual music track while I tested the limits of my juggling abilities by tossing, catching, (and occasionally dropping) an assortment of balls and clubs.

In the end, I did not walk away with the coveted Mr. McCombs crown, but I had a blast pretending to be talented, beautiful, and graceful. The amount of support from my fellow BHPers made the experience even more fun. Even better, all of the event’s proceeds ended up raising more than 2000 cans for the Capital Area Food Bank in addition to more than $500 to the winner’s charity of choice. All in all, it was quite a successful night.


BHP Student, Maggie Hood, Part of Winning National Case Competition Team

Congratulations to Maggie Hood and her team for winning the Deloitte FanTAXtic Case Competition! Read the full story below, originally published on McCombs Today.

Written by Kelly Fine

The Tower was bathed in orange light on Wednesday to celebrate a McCombs  School of Business victory in the Deloitte FanTAXtic Case Competition. McCombs’ five-person team took home a $10,000 reward for the University of Texas at Austin, $2,000 in personal scholarships for each team member, and the priceless pride that comes from defeating the defending champion, the College of William and Mary.

The national competition was held at Deloitte University in Dallas from Jan. 18-20. The team, made up of David Patterson, MPA, Scott Huff, MPA, Maggie Hood, BHP/finance, Michelle Niakan, MPA, and David O’Neill, accounting, first competed against seven regional teams in early November. The teams were given several weeks to prepare a presentation on a complex business tax case regarding partnership tax and international tax codes.

Then, the winning teams from each of the nine regions across the United States met to compete for the national title. For the national event, however, the teams were given only general areas to research prior to the competition. Once they arrived in Dallas, they were given the new case and two hours to prepare a client memo, which they then presented to the “client” judges. The following morning, they were given new facts, more questions, and three hours to create a presentation.

Patterson said the hardest part of the competition was working so quickly with so much new information.

“The national competition was really high pressure because we had never seen any of the facts,” Patterson said. “We had a general idea of what they would ask, but we didn’t have any of the numbers or questions.”

O’Neill said he is thankful for the experience because it gave him a better understanding of what to expect in the future.

“This is a beneficial experience because I get to see what tax professionals do on a day to day basis,” O’Neill said. “It is good to apply what you learn in class to what you do in the job.”

Patterson and O’Neill agreed that one of the most rewarding aspects of the competition was the friendships formed.

“I definitely think that it was a valuable experience, and I would recommend it for anyone. There is a lot of pressure, but there is a pressure in the real world with deadlines, also,” Patterson said. “You’re also working with a team that’s very smart, and that’s a lot of fun. It’s nice to have that experience and build camaraderie amongst the team.”

BHP Year In Review

BHP staff and peer advisors

As we near the end of 2012, we wanted to take the time to give you an update on all of the great things that happened over the last 12 months. It has been an exciting year for us. In August we announced a $1 million challenge grant from BHP alumnus and El Paso native Woody Hunt. We have five years to raise $2 million in order to receive the full $1 million from Woody, and we are ready to rise to the challenge! These funds, which will be used for scholarships as well as faculty, student, and programmatic support, will no doubt make a truly lasting impact on the BHP.

This kind of support is needed, as the quality of the BHP students continues to increase. In 2012 we enrolled 116 very bright freshmen, who in addition to earning numerous academic accolades, were also top leaders at their schools. The average SAT of these students was a 1453 and the average class rank was in the top 2%. However, as some come in, some also go out, and in 2012 we graduated around 100 students who are now making a name for themselves in the workplace.

The 2012 senior class swept campus awards, receiving both of the campus-wide Outstanding Student Awards given by the Texas Parents’ Association, as well as three of the President’s Leadership Awards given by the Texas Exes. A BHP senior also received the McCombs Rising Star Leadership Award. These awards were further recognition of the fact that BHP students excel both in and out of the classroom, and truly make an impact on campus.

Our award streak continued beyond our students though, as BHP Advisory Board Chair Dominic Sung (’03) received the McCombs Rising Star Award during the McCombs Hall of Fame ceremony. This award is presented to alumni no more than 10 years out from graduation who have been successful professionally and helped strengthen the McCombs Alumni Network. Dominic is a Director of Structured Products in the Integrated Supply and Trading Group at BP.

Dominic and a team of alumni, along with BHP staff, have also been busy revamping the BHP Advisory Board. The Board has added new members and is focusing its attention around the areas of admissions and recruitment, fundraising, student mentoring, and alumni communication. We are already seeing the benefits of this increased focus and look forward to making more progress in the coming year.

Speaking of alumni communication, you may have noticed an increase in the information you are receiving from us. Over the last year, we developed an alumni e-newsletter, created an alumni Facebook group, enhanced our blog content, and grew our LinkedIn alumni group to nearly 900 members. All of this is part of a greater effort on our part to keep you abreast of what is going on with the program. We hope you find it beneficial, and as always, feel free to let us know if you have suggestions.

Finally, we want to let you know that we continue to do all we can to improve the program and make it the best it can be for current students. This year we added a new mentoring program, created student study circles, planned a new boot camp to help prepare students for one of their more difficult courses, and revamped curriculum – all of this in addition to providing them with opportunities to connect with employers, alumni, and C-level executives. In the same week, our students had a visit from the COO of SW Airlines one day and the CFO of Walmart the next!

As you can see, this year has been a great one. We are thankful for our wonderful students, alumni, and supporters. We will keep doing our part to protect the value of your degree and ensure that future generations of BHP students have the same opportunities you did. Happy holidays and onwards to 2013!

BHP Students Part of Winning PwC Case Competition Team

A team consisting of three BHP students took first place against 17 other teams in the university-wide PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Extreme Accounting Case Competition, held in late-October. The team was composed of five members: Ka-Wai To (BBA ’13), Tina Dai (BHP ’14), Matt Pojman (BHP/MPA ’15), Ayushi Agarwala (BHP ’15), Klevrin Sitohang (BBA ’15).

The case, which had to do with a company acquisition, posed some unique challenges. The team was able to stand apart from their competitors by focusing on the management aspect of the acquisition.

“The management was flawed, so we decided to standardize processes and restructure the organizational chart. We wanted to focus on reducing the turnover of the employees within the acquired company,” said Dai. “It was definitely an honoring experience to be recognized against such admirable competition. We were really fortunate to have had such a great team dynamic that allowed us to have fun while challenging each other throughout the whole process.”

The national committee overseeing case competitions for PwC is currently reviewing proposals from all participating nationwide campuses. If chosen as one of five finalists, the team will be flown out to New York City to represent The University of Texas and present their case again in the national finals. If chosen, the team will also receive a check for $10,000 to split between the five team members.


Four Recent Alums Share Experiences in Dell Development Programs

The BHP is pleased to have Dell as a corporate partner this year. Dell has employed many BHP alumni over the years. BHP alumnae Casey Lehmann has worked there two years and says, “It is a great company to work for that empowers future leaders to collaborate with global teams, develop ideas and run with them.  There’s a work hard, play hard mentality, focused on driving for results through collaboration, leadership, and engagement.  The culture is also very open and encourages getting to know people from across the globe and outside of your day-to-day job.”

There are several development programs throughout Dell that focus on providing college graduates with a breadth of experiences that they can take & build upon in their future career.  These programs typically provide you with exposure to the senior leadership team, as well as mentoring, networking, community service & teambuilding opportunities.  Four recent BHP grads took the time to share their experience in development programs at Dell.


Mandy Ellison

Graduated 2010, MPA and Business Honors

Global Audit and Transformation (GAT)

Working on the Global Audit and Transformation team at Dell has given me the opportunity to learn various parts of the business through diverse assurance and internal consulting engagements that typically last 4 months each.  Past projects have included mapping the end-to-end sales process, reducing complexity in server manufacturing, realigning call center key performance indicators, auditing services revenue recognition and testing the India balance sheet accounts.  During my two years, I have travelled to the Philippines, India and Brazil to assist with training and engage in regional projects.  Working at Dell is a great fit for me because of the opportunity to work on challenging, cross-functional projects with global teams.


Elyse May

Graduated 2010, Marketing and Business Honors

Commercial Leadership Development Program (CLDP)

The Commercial Leadership Development Program was an amazing opportunity straight out of undergrad that truly set me up for success and enabled me to excel in my career early on.  The program is 2 years long and consists of four, 6 month rotations, starting in sales, and then allows you to drive your career based on where your personal and long term career goals lie. My four rotations were consumer sales, Dell@ marketing and sales support lead, media planning budget manager, and small office business planning. Through my four rotations, I got to launch a new channel, understand how Dell spends our marketing dollars, and the intricacies of putting together actions to drive strategy. The structure of the program is great because it allows you to see firsthand the collaboration across the business units and helps you understand how sales, marketing, operations, finance, and all other business functions are intertwined. In addition to your everyday job, the program provides you with brown bags with the senior leadership team, mentoring with CLDP alumni, and other development opportunities that allowed me to build my professional network.


Rachel Robinson

Graduated 2010, Finance and Business Honors

Finance Development Program (FDP)

I am a recent graduate of Dell’s Finance Development Program (FDP), a 2-year rotational program designed to develop future leaders through a breadth of experiences and MBA-style coursework. The program offered me several great opportunities, including a one-year international assignment in Singapore. Working in Asia really strengthened my global skills and enhanced my understanding of Dell’s supply chain operations. I have now joined the Global Audit and Transformation (GAT) team, where I will continue to gain breadth and international work experience as well as develop my controllership skills. I love working for Dell because I’ve been given roles with large scope areas early in my career, and I’m constantly challenged to learn about different areas of the business. Dell is truly a great place to work!


Casey Lehmann

Graduated 2010, Finance and Business Honors

Finance Development Program (FDP)

I also participated in Dell’s Finance Development Program, and completed four six-month rotations throughout the Finance organization.  Each role (Services Finance, Software Pricing, Treasury & Global Operations) was very different and allowed me to explore what I liked and didn’t like about each area of the business.  In addition, I was able to grow my business & financial acumen through the curriculum & simulations the program provided.  I was also able to get involved in extracurricular activities, such as on-campus recruiting & planning networking events with executives early on in my career.  Since graduation, I have joined the Integration Management Office (IMO) at Dell, focusing on integrating the companies we have recently acquired.  Dell has been a great fit for me, because the support & encouragement from the leadership team throughout the company inspires me to put my best foot forward & learn something new every day.

Connect with us!

Twitter: @CareersAtDell

LinkedIn: Linkedin.com/company/dell/careers

Facebook: Facebook.com/delluniversityrelations

Dell.com: Dell.com/careers